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I do believe you've killed my hat.
Urahara Kisuke, Bleach

Want to get a good idea how dangerous the situation got or was? Why not getting your hat cut into two, getting bullet holes in it, etc.

This is also sometimes accompanied with: "I just got that hat!"

See also Could Have Been Messy and Close-Call Haircut. A non-Fan Service Sub-Trope of Clothing Damage. Depending on how attached the character is to the headgear, this damage can easily serve as a Berserk Button. See also Dead Hat Shot.

Examples of Hat Damage include:

Anime and Manga

  • Bleach: Urahara provides the page quote.
    • Starrk slicing a bit out of Kyoraku's hat - cutting him in the process - would be an indication the fight's going somewhere, were it not for the fact they then continue to procrastinate for some time afterwards. One of Kyoraku's dirty tactics is to throw his hat at Starrk to block his view, and then attack by slicing the hat in two, and in theory cut Starrk. The Espada is too quick, but the hat is definitely 'killed'.
  • One Piece: happens to Luffy's straw hat, which was given to him by Shanks. Which was presumably given to Shanks by Gold Roger himself
  • In GetBackers during his first fight with Kyoji Kagami, Akabane gets his massive fedora sliced at a small point in the front, though it doesn't anger him and only serves to convince him of Kagami's worth as an opponent. The slit stays there for the rest of the series.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog The Movie: Knuckles digs some tunnels to redirect a dangerous lava flow. He avoids getting burned, only for his hat to catch on fire.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Vita gets her hat slightly shredded by a Divine Buster. She does not react well.
  • Soul Eater: Giriko cuts Mosquito's hat while slicing the roof of the limo there were in.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn: during the TYL arc, Reborn has been training Yamamoto in some swordplay. The final test is the former versus the latter using a Paintball pistol and his Katana respectively. After a few seconds of even-match sparring, the final blow is struck, and Reborn looks unharmed...until a rip appears on his hat.
  • Ninja Scroll: Jubei's hat takes some damage early on, and it remains split for the rest of the movie.

Comic Books

  • The "bullet through the hat" was sort of a trademark for Dalton brothers in Lucky Luke. This is also a plot point in one of the albums, although the Dalton brothers aren't involved.
  • Happens in the Tintin book The Calculus Affair - Professor Calculus, coming back from his lab, had a bullet hole going straight through his hat, which he attributes to to moths.
  • If you shoot Scrooge McDuck's top hat. he'll make you pay... the repair costs.


  • Back to The Future part III: Buford Tannen holds Doc at gunpoint and Marty hits the gun with a thrown pie plate the moment he pulls the trigger. Doc's hat gets a neat bullethole right in the center and is knocked off his head, but he is uninjured. Played completely serious.
  • In The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (better known as the movie where "We don't need no stinking badges!" comes from), the banditos have the protagonists surrounded, and the first warning shot goes right through their leader's huge sombrero.
  • Similarly, in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film, Irene Adler shoots Dredger clean through the bowler hat. It just misses the top of his head inside the hat, prompting the one-liner, "Did you... miss me?"
  • In almost every movie about the Alamo, Davy Crocket shoots off Santa Anna's hat. Though no historical evidence is provided for this, he probably just does this to be a smart ass.
  • In The Three Musketeers 1973, during the opening encounter with the Cardinal's guards, Porthos's hat gets sliced in half while he isn't wearing it, leading to a scene in which Porthos, jubilant at the Musketeers' victory, puts his hat on, it falls off to either side of his head, and he throws a tantrum and takes four times the cost of the hat out of the guards' purses as a fine.
  • At the start of The Quick and the Dead, "Dog" Kelly shoots the Lady through her hat. Understandably pissed, the Lady knocks him out, steals his hat, and leaves him shackled to a wrecked wagon in the middle of the desert.
  • The Man With No Name's hat has a repaired bullet hole in the dead center of the crown. We never learn the circumstances surrounding it, its just another mysterious element of the character.
  • The Steel Helmet, a 1951 war movie by Sam Fuller. Sergeant Zack has a bullethole in his helmet, which saved him from a North Korean execution squad. He regards the helmet as good luck and refuses to exchange it for another one.
  • My Name Is Nobody has a running gag about Nobody and Jack shooting one another's hats. At one point Nobody wastes his last bullet on a hat on the floor because Jack is ahead by one.


  • In The Diamond Age, when Hackworth gets mugged, his hat is horrendously damaged.

Live Action TV

  • Happens to Benton Fraser, RCMP, in an episode of Due South. Played straight to begin with: a gun goes off, Benton falls, Ray takes out the shooter and yells for Benton... then this happens.

 Benton: She shot me in the hat, Ray.

Ray: She shot you in the hat?

Benton: Yes. I can feel air coming in through the hole. (Sighs) I'll have to get my second-best one.

  • Sandra burned Russell's hat in the finale of Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, but he only found out when the episode aired.
  • In a season one episode of NCIS, Kate and Tony are trying (and failing) at the target range - they keep accidentally shooting the "hostage." Gibbs decides to up the stakes a bit - he tapes Kate's PDA to her "hostage's" head, and Tony's hat to his. Next scene, Tony's complaining about the bullethole in the visor. Becomes a Brick Joke in season three, when he passes it off to Ziva.

 Ziva: I'm wondering why there is a 9mm hole in my hat.

Gibbs: Ventilation."

  • Episodes of The Avengers often ended with Steed and Mrs Peel attempting to repair the latest damage done to Steed's bowler hat.
  • In Mash, Major Winchester has a life or death experience after the camp survives a sniper attack; everything is fine until Charles puts his hat on a hook, and it goes right through the bullet hole.
  • Played with on CSI, when the groom at an Alice-In-Wonderland-themed wedding is fired on at close range by a robber who's shooting blanks. The blast of escaping air would have merely knocked the "Mad Hatter" hat off his head, except that its energy struck a button on the hatband, propelling it straight into the unlucky groom's brain. For once, Hat Damage caused death rather than substituted for it!


  • From "Cool for Cats" by Squeeze:

 And he wakes to find the fire's dead

And arrows in his hat,

And Davy Crockett rides around

And says it cool for cats.


Newspaper Comics

  • One Far Side comic features a bunch of western bandits, remarking on the fact that one of them manages to get a bullet through his hat every single time they get in a shootout. The explanation: said bandit has a ridiculously tall hat.
    • Another Far Side comic takes the old arrow-through-the-hat example of this trope from Westerns and takes it to its illogical extreme: a panicked cowboy runs in, bringing a warning. "Indians!" Guess what's lodged in his hat.

Video Games

  • The online mode for Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater actually uses this as a gameplay mechanic. If you play as Revolver Ocelot, a headshot will only knock off his beret, protecting him from death just once.
  • Red Dead Redemption: it's possible to remove people's hats with well-placed shots. A slight error quickly turns the target's head into Pink Mist, but the hat comes off that way, too.
  • Dizzy's hat can come off in Gears of War 2 multiplayer, but only from being struck by an enemy's munitions or downed. Rolling around won't.
  • The Godfather game allows you to blow off enemies' hats with certain Execution Styles.
  • It's possible to knock the hats/helmets right off of the Mooks in GoldenEye.
  • The first two Soldier of Fortune games made it possible, if not difficult, to shoot off an enemies hat without harming them. An enemy that has that happen to them will often stop in their tracks from the surprise, giving you a chance to shoot the gun out of their hands and cause them to beg for mercy.
    • Even more difficult but still possible is shooting someones sunglasses off without hurting them.
  • In Time Crisis 2 Area 1 Stage 2, when chasing the first boss, you can shoot his head causing his hat to fall off. Do this each time he shows up will let you skip fighting the APC with a machine gun sequence. Instead, you will fight a number of bonus-point-awarding soldiers.
  • Several enemies in Resonance of Fate wear hats as armor, which can be shot off with the right type of attack. For basic gangsters, a hat can survive sustained machinegun fire indefinitely, but a single handgun shot will remove it. In addition, destroying/removing hats and other pieces of clothing/armor is a key gameplay mechanic.
  • Team Fortress 2: the description for Ritzy Rick's Hair Fixative on the Sniper's hat, which was shot by a bullet.
  • LA Noire has the hats not only being shot down, but also knocked off by fistfights.

 Cole Phelps: That was a $12 hat!


Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Samurai Jack: many times to Jack's straw hat, such as being split in two in Jack's first encounter with the Scotsman.
    • Though, in that encounter, Jack did strike back. Those poor bagpipes.
  • Happens on occasion in Looney Tunes, usually to Yosemite Sam.
    • Daffy gets his miner's cap chopped neatly in two by a scimitar in "Ali Baba Bunny."
    • In "Bugsy and Mugsy", Rocky manages to cut Mugsy's hat in half as well as part of the couch he was sleeping on when Rocky thought Mugsy was going to axe him.
  • In an episode of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Leonardo manages to slice Karai's Shredder helmet into several pieces to get her attention.
  • Disney's Robin Hood opens with a chase that leaves an arrow stuck through Robin's hat (triggering the Stock Phrase "That one almost had my name on it!"). Later, after a climactic fall into a castle moat, the hat bobs up, with another arrow through it, but with no Robin. What, didn't you see the word "Disney's" back there?
  • In Aladdin, when Prince Ali makes his dramatic entrance, an elephant opens the door onto Jafar. He's fine, except that his hat is knocked askew. (It's fine in the next shot though.)
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, Clay has his Nice Hat shot at, leaving a hole in it.

  Clay: That's the second hat this week! Now I'm mad!


Real Life

  • This man and his Rooster Teeth hat.
  • This soldier loses his beret when a gun prematurely goes off behind him, blasting it off his head.
  • Abraham Lincoln was fired at during an attempted assassination his horse bolted and caused him to lose his iconic hat. When the hat was retrieved from the scene, a bullet hole was found in it.
  • In many cultures throughout history, knocking off a man's Nice Hat was sure-fire way to start a fight.